Keetmanshoop Municipality wants to be more transparent

05 Apr 2016 19:00pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 05 APR (NAMPA) – In an apparent move to be more transparent, the Keetmanshoop Municipality on Tuesday convened a media briefing on decisions taken during the last council meeting held recently.
The briefing is the first of its kind, according to municipality Chief Executive Officer Desmond Basson, who said the aim was to keep residents informed of developments in the town.
He also said council meetings in future would be rotated by residential area, with the next one to be held in the Tseiblaagte suburb, “to bring the council closer to the people”.
The council is required to conduct 10 meetings each year.
In future, residents will be invited via notices at the municipality offices and on the entity’s website to submit talking points and queries ahead of the meetings.
Basson announced the authority appointed a debt-collecting agency to assist in categorising and collecting a reported N.dollars 52 million owed by town residents.
He said those able to pay will be prioritised, while payment plans will be worked out for the elderly and other vulnerable groups.
Meanwhile, property-related debts amounting to N.dollars 1.9 million owed by deceased persons are in the process of being written off upon requests by surviving family members.
On the national Mass Housing programme, Basson said that out of the 250 houses constructed, 65 were ready for occupation.
The municipality however awaits resumption of the programme after it was suspended countrywide by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development last year, amid a lack of funds.
The CEO urged residents to refrain from continuing vandalism and theft occurring at the unoccupied houses despite the presence of security guards in the area.
He also revealed that the Keetmanshoop leg of the programme would resume with a new contractor after alleged payment problems between the ministry and current contractor, Namibian Homes.
Furthermore, the municipality approved 20 industrial plans submitted by potential investors and continues to service erven for both Mass Housing candidates and other income groups.
The authority allocated gratis operating space to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to assist in managing the constantly-roaming and neglected household animals at the town.
A small fire truck will be leased to Salini Namibia – the Neckartal Dam constructor – at N.dollars 1 000 per month for cases of emergency.
“Many of our residents are employed there, so this is a service to Salini as our development partner,” Basson said.
The Keetmanshoop Museum received a grant of N.dollars 100 000 from the Museum Association of Namibia, which the council will use towards a Nama culture exhibition at the local museum in May.